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Crime United States News

Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage 1719

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Here's some breaking news I saw MSNBC this morning that I haven't seen reported anywhere in the print media yet. NBC reporter Pete Williams reported on Chuck Todd's The Daily Rundown that (police) 'had been hopeful that they could extract some information from the computer at (Lanza's) home. He was very into computers. Before he left his mother's house on the morning that he shot his mother while she was sleeping, he damaged extensively his computer. He took the hard drive out, pulled the disk out, and did a lot of damage to it,' said Williams. 'It's not clear that (police) are going to be able to extract any information or not.' It has previously been reported that Lanza left no online footprint. Police had been eager to examine Lanza's computer in hopes of determining a motive in his killings or finding records of purchases of firearms and ammunition. 'If he visited certain websites, they are going to glean whatever information they can from that and see what it means,' said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly. 'Does he have friends he communicates with online? Was there a fight with somebody?'"
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Adam Lanza Destroyed His Computer Before Rampage

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  • by X0563511 ( 793323 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:56PM (#42316719) Homepage Journal

    Premeditated. This wasn't an impulsive act.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @03:59PM (#42316761)

    Why do anything this guy did? Maybe he was just a crazy paranoid asshole.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:00PM (#42316771) Homepage Journal

    Premeditated. This wasn't an impulsive act.

    Full body kevlar (as reported by the media, anyway, though I have my doubts) isn't something people put on as an impulse, either.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:00PM (#42316785)

    Over a hundred people die from firearms every day in America. Roughly about 1/3 accidents, 1/3 suicides, and 1/3 deliberate homicides. Dwelling on massacres like Sandy Hook is not really a good idea for many reasons. Most gun homicides are committed with handguns, by people with long records of violent crime, and are done more often than not in heated emotion. But these school massacres fit none of those patterns. They are usually done with rifles, by people that are "odd" and loners but without any record of violent crime, and they are usually meticulously planned. In many ways these make them the hardest violent acts to prevent. We should focus on preventing more on the everyday killings, many of which should be preventable, instead of focusing too much on the black swans where any plausible effort is unlikely to make much difference.

    We should try to learn from history: On January 17th, 1989 Patrick Purdy [] walked into a school yard in Stockton, California, and opened fire on the children playing there, killing five and wounding 29. In the months that followed, legislation was rushed through to outlaw rifles similar in appearance to the one he used. Back in those days, it was common for gun owners to support "common sense" gun control. But they watched gun control advocates, who often claimed that they wanted to restrict handguns and not hunting guns such as rifles and shotguns, use this tragedy to push through bans on rifles and only rifles, and do so on the basis of appearance (shape of the grip, bayonet stud, etc.) rather than functionality. The result had a negligible effect on crime, but resulted in a significant decline in support for gun control in America. There was also a strong political backlash. Many pro-gun-control politicians lost elections, and the urban-rural split between the two major political parties became more pronounced. I really hope that we do something more sensible this time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:03PM (#42316809)

    I wonder if it ran Linux

    In all seriousness, it's fairly likely that it did. The guy was a diagnosed aspie and was reputed at high school to be a computer genius. Which doesn't mean he was a computer genius, but it does make it likely that he was not only running Windows. Who knows, he may even have had a slashdot account.

  • by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:09PM (#42316891)

    A gun in hand is quicker than a couple passes with DBAN.

  • Why post his name? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:10PM (#42316903)

    Why give credit? That's why those people do those things - to be remembered as not nobody.

    Be aware of your responsibility as a news outlet. Let them be a nobody forever.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:11PM (#42316915) Homepage Journal

    I really hope that we do something more sensible this time.

    So, what are you going to do?

    Unless you outright ban guns....or possibly legislate it so that only single shot weapons are legal, you're not going to change or do anything.

    Only law abiding people follow the laws...criminals, by definition, aren't going to abide by them.

    And banning guns tomorrow, totally...would not affect gun crime in the US for decades, there are just too many guns and ammo to be had out there. If you did this...again, only the law abiding would suffer at the hands of criminals which would still be fully and heavily armed.

    I'm sorry, shit happens. Crazy people are out there, and will pop up from time to time, and kill lots of people.

    Hell, wasn't there recently a killing spree at a grade school in German or somewhere else in Europe where the killing and damage done was with a knife?

  • Re:Now he's a hero (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YodasEvilTwin ( 2014446 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:11PM (#42316921) Homepage
    You're the only one saying that as far as I can see. Perhaps you're just afraid of saying it straight up without the false quotes....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:12PM (#42316925)

    The guy was a diagnosed aspie and was reputed at high school to be a computer genius.

    To the general public, "Plays lots of video games" == "Computer Genius".

  • by dingDaShan ( 818817 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:13PM (#42316939)
    ++++ This is the most sensible thing that I've heard on the situation. Let's mourn the victims, but not let this be a cause to further erode freedom.
  • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:14PM (#42316963)

    I don't get why you'd say this?

    I mean, yeah, DBAN would nuke data... but that takes HOURS when I can drill, shoot, or microwave a drive in minutes. Even an oven to degauss would be quicker.

    Shattering a hard drive immediately takes it beyond all off-the-shelf forensics providers without leaving any doubts about the firmware, disk recovery sectors, MBR backups... It also takes it beyond the capabilities of most agencies that aren't commercial. You simply *can't* plug it into a purchased capture device at that point.

    Yes, it's theoretically possible to recover it with cleanroom techniques at that point... but I'm pretty sure recovery is exactly...that... theory -- when you're pulling dust, debris, and shards of glass out of it... And even if it's not -- it's a massive time difference.

    Are you trying to allude to the cloud data that should exist? I think half the point of the physical destruction was to delay and wholly prevent discovering any cloud sources he may have used as long as possible.

    They'll have to get his email address from friends and family now, look up the logs, check with the ISP for any traffic from that originating address... look for any traffic on a huge list of known providers from the same address ...filter that down.

    Unless his ISP has incredible capture, it's going to be near impossible to find what website or forums he's visited in a timely manner... much less chat programs or other likely mediums like WoW/Ventrilo

    Their best bet is probably actually checking the home router to see if it has logs or DNS cached...

  • by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:18PM (#42317003) Homepage

    And banning guns tomorrow, totally...would not affect gun crime in the US for decades, there are just too many guns and ammo to be had out there.

    It would be worth the wait.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:20PM (#42317029) Homepage Journal

    Physical destruction is the gold standard for this sort of thing.

    Of course, the real question is why did he do any of this? The way he wiped his computer is fairly low on the list of things better left undone that day.

  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:22PM (#42317061)
    We focus plenty of resources on those everyday homicides. Those homicides are the reason we have security gaurds with guns at the entrances to Banks and not elementry schools. Spending more resources on that problem won't neccesarily change anything. At some point your just harrasing innocent people who fit profiles. It should also be noted that violent crime of that sort has been on a decline. Plus the 1/3 deliberate homicides include plenty of people involved in crimes. If your not sucidal, don't own a gun, and not involved in crime your not at much risk. At some level society doesn't care abuot those deaths.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:22PM (#42317067) Homepage Journal

    And because they're not really warning signs since more often than not, nothing happens when they're present and typically nobody gives them a thought except in retrospect.

  • by conspirator23 ( 207097 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:25PM (#42317099)

    Great. I was wondering what it would take for the Slashdot crowd to pervert this dipshit into a hero.

    "Dude, check it out! He destroyed all his data before he did this! That way, them dirty screws in law enforcement won't ever know a thing about him, won't understand what happened, and won't have any way to prevent it from happening again! Yeah! That's so awesome! Power to the privacy! Privacy rights for all! Woo!"

    Attempting to smash up his PC and HDD and leaving the wreckage in his place is about the most n00bish form of data destruction you can imagine, and has probably only been partially successful at best. I'll leave it to the numerous other comments already posted to detail this sick kid's failure to cover his tracks adequately. If you're going to irresponsibly portray privacy and security advocates as paranoid deviants who cheer mass murder, you're going to need to try harder.

  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:26PM (#42317117)
    Because the hammer is faster, given the limited resources the cops are likely to expend on attempts to reconstruct the drive's contents.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:27PM (#42317119) Homepage Journal
    To some extent I agree. For instance we waste a huge amount of time and money with USDA and the FSIS inspection and certification of meat. We don't really need it. Yes a few people will get sick and die but all this legislation has been hastily passed over the years in reaction to the fact that a few people can't make responsible choices. I mean if someone gets sick over meat, won't that mean that firm will go out of business and the situation will correct itself. otherwise it is just a matte of safety education. Educate users how to inspect and use the meat they need. Allow local producers to build reputations with consumers.

    In broader terms, gun regulation may not in fact be the best reaction. And it is true that real security does not focus on eliminating all risks, but rather minimizing the risks and victims. Which is what i think is at issue here. The security failed catastrophically and a large number of children died. So as rational security people we can ask why.

    One thing that is clear is that there are things we can't defend against economically. For instance, I can imagine it would be cool to own a mortar launcher or a tank or a missile. Clearly this is not something that is generally allowed because, like a large capacity clip or a high powered rifle, the only practical purpose of this is to kill large number of people. Under the second amendment I should be free to own any of these, but practicality, i.e, we don't want to have to defend an office building against a tank, mean they are not readily available.

    What bothers me is that we have people, like this guys mother, who apparently had all these things that are only honestly useful more mass murder, who may have thought she had to defend herself against some unspecific threat, and this is considered normal. I remain safe with minimal armament, I am not seriously ready to defend myself against a zombie attack, and if the worlds end i think I will be busy with other things than killing my neighbors. Hopefully we will be developing a plan to survive. And if the government comes in with tanks and drones, I don't think I have the ability to actually acquire anything to defend myself, at least not off the shelf.

    So yes the gun control freaks do hav the upper hand at the moment. That is because so many crazy people seem to believe they need to have the tools of war to survive in a place where the most difficult daily decision is where to park your SUV.

  • Re:Now he's a hero (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:27PM (#42317123) Homepage
    Warrant-less wiretaps are a lot different than a murder investigation that has established evidence and a warrant.
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:27PM (#42317129) Homepage Journal

    I run Linux because I can't afford a Mac and I'm not a masochist.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:31PM (#42317189)

    I run Linux because I can't afford a Mac and I'm not a masochist.

    I run Linux because I own a Mac and I'm not a masochist.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:32PM (#42317203)

    If the price of so-called "freedom" is 20 dead children, then either you do not know what freedom is or the price is too high and I no longer wish to be "free".

    Roughy 500 kids go permanently missing each year in the USA and are presumed dead. Millions of public monitoring cameras would surely reduce that number. Are you willing to sacrified the freedom to go about your daily business unwatched in order to save an order of magnitude more children? At what point does the price for a child's life become too high for you?

  • *confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:33PM (#42317219)

    I am often confused, and more than just a little alarmed at the polarization that stories like this cause.

    On one side, there are the people that would rather live in an Aldus Huxley novel than suffer the slight against their perceptions of safety that allowing the general public access to firearms presents. (Seriously. If there are 100 shootings per day, out of 250 million persons in the USA, your chances of being so shot on any given day are 4 places to the right of the decimal point in terms of percentages-- (borrowed possibly false statistic from previous poster.) At that rate, you are more likely to die in an airline catastrophe. Contemplate that when you advocate stampeeding over peoples rights because kids were involved.)

    Then, on the other, you have the people that feel we are already deep inside an aldus huxley novel, and have a "freedom fighter" complex. (The types who wear the tinfoil, you know whom it is of which I speak.)

    Where are the people like me, who live in the middle? The people who deplore the senseless death, but who blame a faulted cultue that stigmatizes people with mental health issues, makes care for such insanely unaffordable, and tries to pretend the problem isn't serious? The ones who understand that guns are simply a tool, and the purpose they serve in the hands of the public is a preventative measure against corruption in high places, and nothing more?

    The solution to deaths like these is NOT "gun control".

    The solution to deaths like this is to get people the help they so desperately need, without any overtones of disparagment, or of belittling the people who need that help.

    Outlawing guns does NOT help the mentally ill get the help the need, before they snap and take others with them. It simply sweeps the issue under the rug, because outlawing the tool used for the killing is simply easier. Nevermind that any sense of security the measure brings is false, and endagers more innocent people. (If not a gun, then perhaps a bomb, or poison, or any number of other methods.)

    I am tired of these stories. I am tired of the shield rattling. I am tired of the "Ra Ra Rah!" And gung-ho idiocy of both sides.

    In cases like these, there are *ONLY* victims. There are no bad guys, unless you care to look in the mirror. Our blind complacency to the sufferings of others is what CAUSES this shit. Everything about this story is tradgedy. Stop looking for a fucking scapegoat.

    Seriously. It confuses the fuck out of my why it always must be so, that we all lose our minds over this, and dive headfirst from the frypan into the fire.

    We like to pretend that we have sharp minds.

    For FSM's sake, fucking use them.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:33PM (#42317227) Homepage

    Wait a minute...

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you're saying we should consider exceptional events to be exceptional, and not panic over shocking tragedies?

    That's not what our Dear Leader says. He says [] "We can't accept events like this as routine" and promises that he'll try to work through the politics to stop things like this from ever happening again.

    Let's not forget another major outlier like this [], where a foreign adversary successfully executed an attack in an unexpected manner, using our own infrastructure against us! A brilliant maneuver by the enemy, and thanks to our kneejerk response, we've managed to avoid any recurrences for only a few trillion dollars in cost and a few thousand more American lives lost! With such a clear success rate for a panicked reaction, how can you possibly be advocating moderation?

    Obviously, the politicians in charge know that the current public outrage will be the catalyst to move us forward into a safe future, where all risk is eliminated, violence is practically unknown, and environmentally-unfriendly customs have been replaced with three shells.

  • by Jawnn ( 445279 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:35PM (#42317249)

    Over a hundred people die from firearms every day

    [citation needed]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:37PM (#42317283)

    If you think the vast majority of handgun-carrying criminals got a permit or otherwise bought their firearms legally then you're delusional.

    Restricting firearms only restricts law-abiding citizens.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:39PM (#42317313)

    Handguns are useful if you are under siege by an enemy with much greater firepower. All you do is have your handgun in your pocket, get close enough to a soldier with a much nicer gun, kill him and take his gun, and give your handgun to another member of the resistance.

  • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:40PM (#42317333)
    The trouble with 'warning signs' when it comes to events like this is we are talking about a FP/TP ratio of possibility millions to one... meaning that as indicators of mass shootings, they are completely useless.

    Now, they might have utility in getting people help that would increase their quality of life or of that around them.. but more likely they would just be used to crack down on people who are already having trouble...
  • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:40PM (#42317335) Homepage

    The guy killed 28 people, including 20 small kids, in a international media circus that included the personal attention of the POTUS. Every single piece of that hard drive is in an FBI clean lab with specialists trying every trick they know, and NSA consultants coming in just to see if they help. If there's anything the FBI and NSA specialists can't figure out, any university in the country will be happy to lend whatever professor is most appropriate out, and the national intelligences services of any county in western world and a good chunk of the developing world will be available for consult should it be required.

    Trust me, for something like this, resources are not going to be an issue.

  • by GryMor ( 88799 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:40PM (#42317337)

    "Improving mental health care" and access to it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:40PM (#42317343)

    I think part of the point here is that if SHE hadn't have been able to buy the guns legally, then there would have been no guns to steal. Yes, criminals will resort to crime to get guns illegally... but that doesn't change the fact that most of the guns USED illegally in this country are just one or two steps from a legal purchase. Outlawing guns doesn't STOP bad guys from getting them, but it sure as hell curtails the process. Q.v. "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels."

  • by FrankSchwab ( 675585 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:45PM (#42317417) Journal

    If you don't have a felony conviction, or various other disqualifying issues, it takes anywhere from ten minutes to ten days, depending on the locality, to purchase a rifle or handgun.

    I'll ask another question - how easy/difficult is it for an adult in your country to buy a knife/car/whatever that can be used to kill people?

    These are horrific events, whether they happen in Connecticut or Scotland ( with guns, or China ( with knives and hammers. But they pale in comparison with the number and tragedy of single deaths that occur daily. Children are killed in car accidents, playground accidents, by parents, caregivers, and other children, in horrific and tragic ways. But, because they happen one or two at a time, they're a footnote in a local newscast and quickly forgotten. Nothing is done about them.

    Heck, even the events of Sept 11, 2001 here in the US were a statistical blip - the 3000 people killed in the attacks are roughly the number of people who die every month in car accidents in the US. And yet we treat it as a national day of mourning, and disassemble our freedoms, to prevent it from happening again.

    We as Humans grossly overreact to the extraordinary, and become accustomed to the ordinary. 20 Children killed with a Gun? Time to ban all guns. 40000 infants born in the US every year with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (, and we show a few public service announcements on the TV. Which is the greater tragedy?

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:46PM (#42317433)

    So, what are you going to do?

    Doing nothing would be more sensible than what we did in 1989 in California. Not only was it pointless (banning weapons based on appearance rather than functionality) but was probably downright counter-productive by outlawing thousands of existing guns and pushing them onto the black market.

    Right now there is a big push to "do something", and I hope we don't do something that stupid again. I am not an advocate of more gun control, but if we are going to "do something", than it should be aimed at cheap handguns that are used in killings everyday rather than a futile attempt to prevent the next Sandy Hook.

  • by JeanCroix ( 99825 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:47PM (#42317439) Journal
    Four isn't exactly an arsenal. And she was into recreational shooting, they weren't just self defense. But she is indeed the answer in that she obviously did not secure her guns well enough from her disturbed son.
  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:49PM (#42317483) Journal


    As other posters have pointed out these things are almost always planned. A guy in China stabbed twenty some people the very same day. Imagine how easy and cheap it would be to put together a few pipe bombs jacketed with small ball bearings; that would create every bit as much horror and death in a room for children as this guy was able to do using guns. You can't control the materials for that either without really crippling society. Any intelligent (though not necessarily sane) person who wants to hurt a large number of people in our society can find a way to do so, with or without a gun.

    Guns are not the problem. The real danger is the mentally and our total lack of will to deal with them. This guys mother knew and had talked about him burning himself days before the incident. She obviously understood things were very wrong but did nothing. As a society we at most pump people with dangerous mental pathology full of drugs their own doctors hardly know what effect will have and send them back out among us. In probably the majority of cases we do nothing about them at all. Certainly its true in the 20th century, having people committed was abused. It might be unfair and cruel to lock many of these folks away in psych wards but at least they'd not be out hurting people. Lord knows I don't like health care reform the way it was done but at least some seriously disturbed people might get near to a profession who could possible declare them a threat and get something done about them.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:51PM (#42317521)

    You see, you can claim to want a gun for self defense but how many do you need?

    How many rights do YOU need? What is it about the concept of a right that is hard to grasp? Is there some new twist to "rights" that says that you can only exercise one to the limit that someone else thinks you need to?

    Yes, you have the right to free speech, but I think you've said quite enough already. Sit down and shut up, you don't need the right to free speech anymore.

    What did she need that arsenal for?

    Who cares? It's not your right to decide what she needed her rights for. If I want to own 1000 guns, it's my right, and you have no right to second guess whether I get the right based on what you think I need.

    Ten to one the mother is the answer to this drama.

    Then the way we prevent this from ever happening again: ban mothers. You can't shoot your mother in her sleep if you don't have a mother. And ban schools. You can't shoot up a school full of kids if there is no school for them to be conveniently corralled into.

    How about we take this message away from this? "Evil people will always do evil things, no matter what we do to stop them. Trying to stop evil people requires stopping nice people from doing things with laws that evil people will simply ignore, just like they ignore all the existing laws."

    The only way to have stopped this nutcase was to put him in prison (or confinement) at the first sign he might be "unstable". Now, you might be imprisoning a lot of people who don't fit YOUR definition of stable, and who wouldn't ever kill anyone, but if you can stop the death of 20 schoolchildren by putting a million oddballs into prison, isn't it worth it?

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:53PM (#42317543)

    I'm sure he was fully aware that the authorities and the media would try to understand him. I'd guess his intent was to do something horrible, hitting the most vulnerable part of society in order to inflict maximum pain. That he could leave everyone with questions to which they'd never have answers was the final aspect of his plan.

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:54PM (#42317555) Homepage

    Thinking that owning a couple of guns is a paranoid delusion is a paranoid delusion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:57PM (#42317601)

    start taking people's mental health into account

    It's likely that this will happen, but it is a strawman remedy. The mentally ill are only as violent as the general population, i.e., 1% have violent tendencies, just like the general population. Demonizing the mentally ill this way will not deter this kind of crime for the reason that it is too big of a net... nearly half of all american households have someone seeking psychological treatment.

    What I think would work is holding gun owners up to the light. The Second Amendment is CLEAR.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    What the founders intended is that those that exercise their right to bear arms be members of a regulated militia. The meaning has been twisted over the years, but the original intent is obvious because it is literal. What we need is to tell the NRA they, as a group, will now be held responsible for the actions of their members, thus they need to police themselves. If all gun owners were compelled to be members of a militia with regulation oversight from that militia (responsible gun owners having veto powers over other members, to legally disarm them that have shown irresponsibility with a weapon), then maybe things could change for the better. If the NRA wasn't spending all its money on lobby power to arm everyone, but rather instead be forced to watch its ass because its own members will burn them, then things could get better.

  • Re:Yeah well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:57PM (#42317611)

    Australia banned automatic rifles after several mass shootings and since then, they have had none.

    TSA banned liquids and gels in more than small quantities, and since then, there have been no incidents of liquid-based explosions on US aircraft.

  • by joh ( 27088 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:57PM (#42317617)


    As other posters have pointed out these things are almost always planned. A guy in China stabbed twenty some people the very same day.

    Not a single one of these twenty people died, though.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @04:59PM (#42317643)

    She had 2 handguns, completely reasonable for self defense. A standard .223 carbine... standard rifle you can get at walmart, fun to shoot and then a shotgun, pretty typical for hunting small game.

    The problem here was this guy went nutz, and there was no way for him to get help. He wanted the world to know about his rage and the media gives him a relatively easy way to get the world to hear about it as long as he does something worse than the last guy. If there's any industry to blame here it's the news media for sensationalizing this and the medical industry for not providing the help he needs.

    If you want to kill a lot of people, making guns illegal isn't going to stop you. They are simply the most accessible means right now. Make them less accessible and he would have picked up a truckload of fertilizer and diesel fuel... and probably taken out the whole school. An Ammonium nitrate is REALLY easy to get.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:05PM (#42317755) Journal

    But when questioned further, they'll all remember tons of warning signs that they ignored, because nobody gives a shit until somebody starts killing.

    The problem with 'warning signs' is that(without a much larger and better constructed study population, which you would be unlikely to get) is selection bias: It is, indeed, very unlikely that somebody who goes in and shoots up the place acted 100% normally in the time leading up to doing so. However, without doing an equally-invasive-and-thorough investigation of a fairly large number of demographically similar non-shooters, how do you separate signal from noise?

    Practically any instance of assholery, alienation, or general dark muttering looks like a 'warning sign' once you've gone and emptied a few magazines into cowering elementary school children; but that is diagnostically useless unless you have reason to suspect that a given behavior doesn't show up(or shows up orders of magnitude less frequently) in non spree shooters.

  • by chad.koehler ( 859648 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:06PM (#42317777)

    This post went from protecting rights to advocating for thought crime. A+ would read again.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:07PM (#42317789) Homepage Journal

    Three weapons is not an "arsenal". When people use that term, I expect to find dozens of weapons, not ten or less. Owning 3 or more shotguns means that you use shotguns to hunt different kind of game - maybe ducks, upland fowl, and squirrels, maybe a twelve guage for slugs to hunt deer.

    That small .223 is great for varmints such as groundhog - generally the same person will own one or more larger deer rifles, like a 30-30 or a 30-06.

    If our gun enthusiast also goes to target ranges, he may own yet another weapon that has been customized for extreme accuracy. .270, .243, or .223 are all great target rounds.

    Arsenal. I've only seen three specific weapons mentioned, and some references to an "assault rifle". That "assault rifle" merits some concern, but it's not clear yet what they are referring to. Like as not, some fool has characterized a deer rifle as an "assault weapon", but he may well have been carrying an SKS or something.

    As for "why so much ammo" - 100 rounds is no big deal anywhere. Ammo comes in boxes of 20, and it's not uncommon to purchase 2 to 10 boxes at a time. Anyone serious about marksmanship might buy 100 boxes at a time. It only takes several minutes to use up a box, if you're carefully aiming. If you're just having fun, it only takes a minute.

    People who ask these questions and make these assumptions are obviously not outdoorsmen.

  • by afaik_ianal ( 918433 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:07PM (#42317795)

    What an absolute load of clap trap.

    Why do people get modded up as insightful for spouting the same old NRA propaganda? Analysing the statistics for violent crime, suicide and accidental deaths is a complicated area of research. Finding localised peaks in violent crime figures does not negate the massive drops in gun incidents we saw in Australia following the effective banning of firearms almost 20 years ago.

    And what's with this view that being able to shoot someone who wrongs you is better than the tiny risk of being robbed? Seriously? People with that view are exactly who I don't want having weapons anywhere near me.

  • by JeanCroix ( 99825 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:10PM (#42317831) Journal
    The AR-15 is a very common rifle for recreational and competition shooting. "Nut" comment aside, she was ultimately responsible: 1) Not properly securing them, 2) Not just getting rid of them while having an unstable individual living in her house.
  • by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:12PM (#42317857) Journal

    I guess that makes him not mentally disturbed then. otherwise what does that have to do with the parent post?

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:18PM (#42317921) Homepage Journal

    Sure, it's just the little thing that you can't do as much damage armed with only a knife as with a handful of semi-automatics...

    Quite so. They found this out the hard way in Cambodia, Uruguay, China, Turkey, Germany, the Soviet Union and Guatemala.

    Millions and millions of times.

  • by volvox_voxel ( 2752469 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:27PM (#42318053)
    rights aren't ‘rights’ if someone can take ‘em away; they’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country: a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news, even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter. “ — George Carlin, “You Have No Rights” (via kristinovich)\
  • by afaik_ianal ( 918433 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:34PM (#42318139)

    The catch-22 is that your relative value on human life makes you an incredibly inappropriate person for making those life-and-death decisions.

    There are a million and one reasons why someone might be in your house (or why you might think someone's in your house).

    I'm not suggesting being robbed isn't most likely explanation, but it's just stuff. Your stuff is not worth extrajudicial killing someone over.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:40PM (#42318235)

    What the founders intended is that those that exercise their right to bear arms be members of a regulated militia.

    They intended no such thing. They gave one example of why the right to be armed is important, but one example is not the complete list.

    Do you think all those founders who had just used their arms against the government were really thinking that the only reason people should be allowed to own a gun was so they could be part of a "well regulated militia" -- i.e., part of the government used to suppress the public should THEY ever be so uppity as to oppose a government they found to be oppressive?

    What you are arguing is that the same people who just won their freedom from an oppressive, abusive government were now saying that nobody except the government (in the guise of the "well regulated militia") should have weapons. That's ridiculous.

    If all gun owners were compelled to be members of a militia with regulation oversight from that militia (responsible gun owners having veto powers over other members, to legally disarm them ...

    Well, Mr. President, those people in Tennessee are starting to get riled about those new laws we're forcing on them, you better kick them out of the "militia" and gather up all their weapons...

    From the font of all human knowledge []:

    Noah Webster similarly argued: Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.

    That's a pretty clear statement about the difference between an armed populace and the militias that would be "well regulated" by the state. "The whole body of the people" is much more than any militia, in your terminology, but it truly was "the whole body of the people" to the founders. Continuing from the same article:

    The framers thought the personal right to bear arms to be a paramount right by which other rights could be protected. Therefore, writing after the ratification of the Constitution, but before the election of the first Congress, James Monroe included "the right to keep and bear arms" in a list of basic "human rights", which he proposed to be added to the Constitution.

    You're now arguing that this "paramount right", what the founders thought was "a basic human right", is really intended to be a way of keeping the populace under control because it should be afforded only to those who are "part of the system", and, when the right is most needed, will be part of the problem.

  • by jekewa ( 751500 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:43PM (#42318275) Homepage Journal

    The responsibility lies with the nutbag who shot up the school and then committed suicide. It might be nice to try to find some reason or trigger for it, but really it was the actions of one individual performing a heinous act. He took advantage of the situation and executed his twisted plan, or reacted completely insanely, or something in between. While in a situation where he may not have had such easy access to such weapons (for whatever reason) it may not have happened the way it did, but there's no way of knowing for sure that he wouldn't have done something similar another way.

    Whatever you think of her gun selection, in firepower or quantity, it seems she gained them legally and behaved with them responsibly. It can surely be argued that no matter how stringent any gun control law, short of completely banning gun ownership, she could have followed all of those more strict laws and still had weapons that her son would then acquire illegally and use incorrectly.

    There's no evidence she didn't properly secure her firearms and that he simply defeated said security. Locking something in a gun safe isn't something that would stop a motivated and capable 20-year old. He could surely have known where she kept any locker or trigger-lock keys, and reached them. Short of that any number of tools could have been used to overcome many home gun lockers, especially those meant to keep children safe and not truly secure the weapons.

    Some blurb I saw somewhere said that Connecticut only requires locking up firearms when there are minors living in the home, and since he was 20 he was not a minor. Yes, a responsible gun owner should have locked up the weapons regardless, but again, a 20-year old familiar enough with the weapons to do what he did would have surely been able to open said locks.

    Additionally, while the actions show in hindsight that he was plenty unstable (tore up first-graders...'nuff said), there's not been convincing evidence presented (that I've seen or read) that indicates he was unstable to the point that one might think he would do what he did. Too many interviews point out "what a quiet person" or "nice fella" or whatever. I'm sure his mother thought she understood whatever was going through his head, as most parents will believe with their kids, even when they're wrong. We'd all like to believe that we'd be able to see the breakdown coming, and even if there was any indication he was about to snap, perhaps she didn't envision he'd snap like this, or on that day.

    These are the basic facts. She had legally obtained weapons. He obtained them from her (and killed her with them). He is responsible for the actions that took the lives of those children and their protectors.

  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:58PM (#42318479)

    It was motivated by availability of guns.
    No, wait -- because of mental illness issues in America.
    No, wait -- because of video games.
    Wait, wait, -- I mean, because of goths.
    Wait, no, I mean it was because of music.
    What am I saying? I meant to say it was because of movies and television.
    Oh, geeze, I forgot -- it's because "they took god out of schools".
    Oh, whoops. No, it's because not enough people at the school were armed.
    Uh oh, no it's because of the evil internet.
    No, no, no -- it's because of bad parenting.
    Oh, boy, it's actually because he was a loner and didn't fit in.
    No, wait a minute -- it's clearly because of bullies.

    Or maybe everyone on the planet should shut the fuck up, grow up, and acknowledge that fucked up shit happens that is beyond our control and you can't blame freak occurrences into never happening and therefore somehow assuring eternal safety. People will lose their shit. Nature will throw something totally fucked at you. Accidents will happen. Mistakes will be made. Instead of realizing fucked up shit happens, we aid those trying to manipulate these freak events to push their personal agendas by somehow trying to reverse-engineer a stream of chaos -- which butterfly's flapping wings in the world lead to the hurricane?

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @05:58PM (#42318489)

    He wasn't advocating thought crime. His rhetorical question at the end of the final paragraph should have been enough to see that. He was pointing out that sometimes, the cure is worse than the disease, and that what we have isn't even a cure, but a bit of quack medicine.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:00PM (#42318523) Homepage

    You should read the DSM-IV sometime.

    Pretty much anyone can be "diagnosed" with something. It's not just Aspergers.

    This is one good reason to never trust anyone that calls themselves a mental health professional. You never know when the Soviet or McCarthy era abuses will begin again.

  • by tburkhol ( 121842 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:20PM (#42318795)

    The problem has two parts: mental illness and guns. In China, with no guns, a mentally ill guy assaults 20 people and none of them are dead. In the US, with prolific guns, a mentally ill guy assaults 28 people, and 26 are dead.

    The knee-jerk suggestions for dealing with mental illness amount to preemptive jailing of a large number of people, the vast majority of whom will never assault anyone. The knee-jerk suggestions for dealing with guns amount to taking away tools, the vast majority of which will never be used in anger. Neither of those is right, but the best answer should include aspects of both. Hopefully, some reasonable people can work through the politics and come up with a reasonable solution that addresses not just extremely infrequent mass-violence, but individual shootings which have become so mundane we only hear about them when someone "interesting" is the victim.

  • Guns And Abortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:31PM (#42318915)

    Right wingers believe that new laws will prevent people from getting abortions. Why don't they believe that new laws will prevent people from shooting guns at people?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 17, 2012 @06:43PM (#42319063)

    It is a good excuse to finally limit access to guns which it is very arguable are the reason the US has such crazy high gun death rates compared to other first world countries. You are right that understanding cause and effect well in a particular case is hard, but guns impact on statistically high prevalence of gun deaths is actually very easy. This is a good time and a good excuse because people are pissed.

  • actually, it's pretty much the quintessential american tragedy

    we gut mental healthcare safety nets, and healthcare in general we don't care about

    we flood society with guns

    and here we have a deranged person with a gun. it's called cause and effect. of course lanza can happen anywhere in the world, but because of american society, adam lanza becomes more likely here

    adam lanza as a phenomenon says a lot of about the USA's culture and priorities in regards to healthcare and guns, and less about humanity in general

    and we as americans can do something about it, by emphasizing healthcare as the solution to our problems, and deemphasizing guns as the solution to our problems, and we can make adam lanzas less likely to happen

  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:40PM (#42319687) Journal

    From the font of all human knowledge []:

    Noah Webster similarly argued: Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.

    Those words were written at a time when there was essentially no difference between a soldier's weapon and a civilian's. Any band of regular US troops now-a-days has far superior firepower available to them than the civilian population. Today's reality is that the only thing preventing a military takeover is the moral qualms of the officers in charge.

  • by sudnshok ( 136477 ) * on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:27PM (#42320157)

    Firearms account for approximately 18,000 suicides annually in the US and approximately 10,000 homicides.

    So, even if we lump in homicides with your suicides AND assume homicides are committed by legal gun owners (which most times they are not): 28,000 is 0.035% of 80 million gun owners in the US, which means it is NOT the "primary purpose of owning a gun". It in fact accounts for a MINISCULE use of firearms.

    The primary purposes for owning a gun - BY FAR - NOT EVEN CLOSE - are self defense and sport (including competitive shooting, recreational shooting and hunting).

    Also, I suspect that you are misinformed on what an "assault rifle" is which is not your fault since the media spreads so much hysteria and disinformation...

    An assault rifle is a marketing term. These rifles function EXACTLY THE SAME as semiautomatic hunting rifles. The only differences are: they look more menacing, have accessory rails and a different grip. You can buy a wooden rifle - not considered an "assault rifle" - which fires the EXACT same caliber bullets, at EXACTLY the same rate with EXACTLY the same capacity.

    Also, while you did not mention it here, let me also bring up "high capacity magazines" since a lot of "anti-gun wackos" (as I'll call them) bring these up for argument. The difference between shooting a 30 round magazine and three 10 round magazines is about 4 seconds. With just a small amount of practice, anyone can reload in under 2 seconds.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:50PM (#42320999) Homepage

    Aspergers has ZERO to do with the killer's rampage. I have a son with Asperger's (yes, diagnosed by a doctor and, no, it wasn't an easy process to figure out what was going on with him) and I can tell you that the nature of Asperger's is completely counter to something like this.

    First of all, people think Asperger's means a lack of empathy. It doesn't, though. It's a lack of an ability to pick up on social cues. My son can't tell if his endless story about the video game he's playing is boring you or if you are riveted. Communication is 20% words and 80% non-verbal. Aspies have trouble deciphering the latter 80%. Imagine trying to read Slashdot posts/comments with only 1 out of every 5 letters in place. C____ __u ____y __ _n_ __ ___m? O_ _____d ___ __t___a_ __o_ ___ __n____a___n? (i.e. Could you reply to any of them? Or would you withdraw from the conversation?) Aspies might withdraw simply because they don't understand how to respond/interact, but they *WANT* to participate.

    In addition, Aspies tend to be over-sensitive to the emotions of others once they are told about them. If you tell an Aspie they they offended you with somthing they did, the Aspie will likely feel awful. They might not know how to "make it better", and might withdraw more for fear of making more mistakes, but don't mistake withdrawal for lack of empathy.

    Finally, I've found that Aspies (like my son) tend to be sticklers for the rules. They find comfort in rules and get upset when people violate them. So an Aspie isn't likely to plan something that completely "violates the rules" to the degree that a mass shooting does. (They might not get subtle social cues, but they understand that hurting people is wrong.)

    Anyone who tries to link mass shootings (including this one) to Asperger's/Autism is just displaying a vast lack of understanding of what Asperger's/Autism is.

  • by skitchen8 ( 1832190 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:54PM (#42321033)
    As would reducing the number of cars on the road reduce drunk driving fatalities. Reducing the number of prescription narcotics would prevent accidental or purposeful overdoses. Cutting off everybody's electricity would reduce world pollution. Just because someone does something bad with something doesn't mean it doesn't have a legitimate use and should be taken away from the people that use it responsibly.
  • by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @10:34PM (#42321327)

    Gun control won't reduce the number of people 'losing their shit' and going berserk. It will however, limit the amount of damage they can do before being contained. It's much harder to murder 20 plus people with a hunting knife before someone steps in and stops you.

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:15PM (#42321591)
    "What, pray tell, is the legitimate use of high capacity magazines? "

    Sport and fun. What's the use of a snowboard? Other than sport and fun, they serve no legitimate purpose.
  • by ahabswhale ( 1189519 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @12:51AM (#42322055)

    You are wrong on several counts:

    1) This kid had mental issues since birth. He had Aspergers and difficulty dealing with others and was a problem kid his whole life.

    2) The mother bought these guns to teach her kid how to shoot so he could learn about responsibility. Talk about the stupidest fucking thing you can think of to teach a mentally ill kid responsibility...

    3) It's the mother's responsibility to make sure her mentally ill child does not have access to deadly weapons. You can't blame a nut for their actions when everyone knows he's got major problems. If she felt the need to have guns, she should have properly secured them such that he could not get access to them. (Maybe that should be a law?)

    In short, his mom was completely irresponsible. If she weren't dead, I'd say she should be prosecuted (at least for being a complete fucking moron).

  • by BlueStrat ( 756137 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @01:02AM (#42322105)

    Gun control won't reduce the number of people 'losing their shit' and going berserk. It will however, limit the amount of damage they can do before being contained. It's much harder to murder 20 plus people with a hunting knife before someone steps in and stops you.

    You got the first sentence right, but then you went and blew it with the following sentences.

    How could gun control...or even a ban on guns...ever possibly stop a nutcase who won't obey any laws from obtaining a gun? Do you think more regulations, restrictions, or bans will halt the availability? With some 200 million guns already out there?

    Heroin and cocaine are illegal, and up till recently, marijuana was too. Didn't seem to stop anyone from obtaining those things. They've pretty much already admitted bans don't and won't work with the current movement of government towards decriminalization of marijuana.

    Just as with recreational drug bans and alcohol prohibitions, the people that you'd most want to NOT have them will be the ones that have them and sell them.

    Which came first? The nutcase? Or the nutcase getting their hands on a gun? Check the facts. The number of mass murders by gun are actually down. We are in a 40-year low in violent crime.

    The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession.

    In all regions, the country appears to be safer. The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States.

    And to those who try to characterize the 2nd Amendment right as some sort of "hunter's rights" and thus attempt to justify their desire to severely restrict who may own, and what types of firearms that may be legally owned, to licensed hunters with single-shot rifles and shotguns, you are wrong.

    The 2nd Amendment was PRIMARILY about ensuring US citizens could do one thing above and beyond all others; Overthrow the US government by killing _people_. Not Bambi. People. Government people.

    Hunting and personal defense are merely nice side-benefits.

    The problem is not guns. It's the crazies. The Left battled mightily and won in the '70s and '80s to have mental patients out walking the streets instead of being institutionalized. What the ~fuck~ did you people EXPECT to happen? Hello? McFly?

    Now it looks like the Left wants to turn the entire country into a mental institution and all the citizens disarmed and treated as dangerous mental patients rather than admit their screwed-up, blind-ideology-based policies are to blame.

    Molon labe.


  • by cyn1c77 ( 928549 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @02:34AM (#42322623)

    A columnist at the CBC has a good article [] on how many Canadians feel about the USA's attitude towards guns and these horrible tragedies.

    That sensationalist article had exactly the type of tone that you'd expect to come out of a socialist state like Canada: The government will decide what rights you can be granted.

    The thing is, do you really want someone telling you what gun is appropriate for you to own? If so, where do you draw the line? How much alcohol can you own? Can we decide what kind if car you have to buy? (No SUV's for you!) How about how much electricity or bandwidth you can use?

    Mercury contamination (from burning coal for electricity), SUVs, and alcohol kill far more people every day than guns, yet most people don't think twice about utilizing those resources to excess.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's